Flyers-Red Wings Preview

The Detroit Red Wings haven’t seemed to miss injured star Pavel

Datsyuk lately, though they may be presented with a whole new set

of challenges with Henrik Zetterberg out for an extended period of

time.

Zetterberg will miss at least the next two weeks, starting

Wednesday night against the visiting Philadelphia Flyers as Detroit

looks to extend its winning streak to five games.

Datsyuk, who has a team-best 12 goals, has been sidelined for

the last four contests due to a head injury and is doubtful to play

Wednesday, though he could return soon.

Detroit (14-7-7) has made do without him, outscoring opponents

18-4 during its streak. Drew Miller scored twice and Daniel

Alfredsson had a goal and an assist in a 4-2 win over Ottawa on

Sunday.

Zetterberg didn’t record a point, and he’ll now miss time with a

small herniated disc, according to general manager Ken Holland. The

forward, who leads the team with 30 points (11 goals, 18 assists)

and is tied for first on the Wings at plus-12, could be out even

longer.

“He was a force at the end of last year and he’s probably been

our best player this year,” goaltender Jimmy Howard told the team’s

official website. “Night in and night out, he’s finding ways to put

pucks in the net for us or setting guys up.”

Detroit will need to continue getting scoring from elsewhere

with Zetterberg and Datsyuk out. Alfredsson has four goals and

three assists during the Red Wings’ run, while defenseman Niklas

Kronwall has two goals and seven assists during a six-game point

streak.

“For a while there no one scored except Pav and Hank, so

obviously (Alfredsson has been) huge for us,” coach Mike Babcock

said. “We need him going. Leadership’s key on any team. I think

Alfredsson coming has given us another guy.

“When things go good it’s not as big a deal. When things go bad,

that’s when you need to be stable, and I think we’ve been good that

way.”

Alfredsson recorded three assists, Zetterberg had two goals and

an assist and Datsyuk and Kronwall added a goal and two assists

apiece in a 5-2 win over Philadelphia on Oct. 12. Howard made 32

saves.

Jonas Gustavsson is 7-0-1 with a 1.99 goals-against average in

his eight starts this season after making 30 saves against the

Senators. It’s uncertain if he or Howard will be in net against the

Flyers (12-13-2).

Philadelphia went 8-2-1 in its previous 11 before falling 2-0 to

Minnesota on Monday in its second stop on a six-game road trip. It

scored fewer than three non-shootout goals for the fifth straight

time and its 57 goals are among the fewest in the league.

Vincent Lecavalier, who has a team-best nine goals, was

scratched in the last contest because of back spasms. His status

for this game is uncertain.

Forward Jakub Voracek hasn’t scored in 10 straight games.

”It’s unbelievable this year, so many chances,” said Voracek,

who scored a career-high 22 goals in 46 games last season. ”I hit

a couple posts, a couple good saves. Last year everything went

under the bar. … This year I think it’s going to go in and then

something happens.”

Ray Emery made 19 saves Monday, but Steve Mason – 6-1-1 with a

1.72 GAA in his last eight – could start this contest.